(SD)-Guilty Plea In 2015 Murder-For-Hire
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A Sturgis man charged with 1st-degree murder of the murder-for-hire kidnapping and death of his ex-girlfriend more than 4 years ago has reached a plea deal with prosecutors.
30-year-old Jonathan Klinetobe pleaded guilty Friday to aiding and abetting 1st-degree manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of life without parole just like murder, in the stabbing death of 22-year-old Jessica Rehfeld of Rapid City in 2015.
In exchange, prosecutors dropped charges of 1st-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, aggravated 1st-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. They had decided last year not to seek the death penalty at the request of Rehfeld's family.
Kleintobe was accused of hiring Richard Hirth and David Schneider to kill Rehfeld, who disappeared in May 2015 and whose body was found in a grave in the woods of the Black Hills near Rockerville almost exactly a year later.
Schneider has already pleaded guilty to murder, but won't be sentenced until after the cases of Klinetobe and Hirth are completed. Hirth is scheduled for trial next month.
Hirth is accused of repeatedly stabbing Rehfeld while both were riding in a car driven by Schneider. The two men then buried her body in a shallow grave, but Klinetobe hired 2 other men, Michael Frye and Garland Brown, two weeks later to help him move and rebury the body.
Both men pleaded guilty to being accessories to murder. Brown was sentenced to five years in prison while Frye's sentencing is pending.
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